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Medicare Safety Net - Obstetrics no longer covered?


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#51 MonstersMama

Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:09 PM

QUOTE (fmadr @ 03/01/2010, 04:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree that to have a baby is a choice. However, once you're pregnant, it becomes a medical issue (and a legal one). There are dangers to both the mother and baby and medical intervention and supervision is required.



And every pregnant woman who wants it receives medical intervention and supervision. Its a choice to go public or private. Nobody in this country will be denied care. But if you choose to go private, you pay. Otherwise, you will get your care through the public system. its not like anyone is being denied medical care because they cant pay, are they?

#52 louise3now4

Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:16 PM

Stagedom my fees in Melbourne are pretty similar.

First visit - $350 - about 280ish out of pocket

First installment 20 weeks, $4400 (paid just before Christmas so I got $3500 back, this obviously no longer applies)

Second installment 30 weeks, $2600, none back

From what I have found with my previous babies, these two installments make up the whole pregnancy and management fee, they have nothing to do with delivery, but OB's could only charge 60% or thereabouts as the amount to be covered by Medicare. They may have changed it now to a 50/50 payment so as to make it easier for patients to pay, as it does not matter for Medicare anymore. I doubt you will find your health fund covers any of those amounts. They cover the delivery fee. In hospital. Mine is separate to the amounts mentioned above, another $1400 approx, this however is gapped straight through to my health fund.

Follow up appts, pretty much the same, but I have a lower excess on my hospital insurance.

You also have to include other OOP's as mentioned by others such as U/S, bloods and potentially an anesthetist (OOP $400) and pediatrician (OOP $400) in hospital. This has been pretty much standard for my previous three, despite them being born in different hospitals.


ETA, I happily pay these amounts because all four of my pregnancies (and three deliveries so far) have been extremely complicated, with this one I have already been in and out of hospital several times and I like the fact that MY OB will respond personally to my call on a public holiday and meet me in at the hospital 2 hours later ready to check me in and set me up. And that she comes to see me at 10pm at night to make sure I am settled and all is going well. Perhaps research it a bit more with relation to what your wife's needs actually are. Because this is what the management part of it is.

Edited by louise3sofar, 04 January 2010 - 05:31 PM.


#53 Lokum

Posted 04 January 2010 - 07:59 PM

QUOTE (nurserobin @ 03/01/2010, 08:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
now we just need to save more to cover the costs. the health of me and my baby shouldnt come as a cost like kevin rudd thinks it should. what kind of health care system did mr rudd promise at his election? a better one? what a joke. seems to me he and his people left this one out.



Actually, this government is actively trying to wind back the massive amounts of middle class welfare and govt handouts to the wealthy and those (less wealthy, but not poor) who choose to use private health care.

The $$$ saved by doling out money directly to compensate private patients for paying private specialists for their private healthcare, will theorectically be kept in the public system for the benefit of all Australians, not just those who have access to private healthcare and their own person obstetricians.

I am one who benefitted from Medicare safety net last year, to the tune of around $12,000 - though really, it was my fertility specialist who benefitted - not the average taxpayer.

This year, for my fancy East Melbourne obstetrician, I guess I can't expect the tax payer to pick up the disproportionately high bill any more. My choice -  I can pay for it myself (fair enough, I will), or I could go the Royal Women's as a public patient.

I acknowledge I'm high maintenance and want my own private someone to answer all my phone calls and worries. But unlike some others, I'm willing to pay for it, and don't expect the taxpayer to fund it without limitation.

#54 Future-self

Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE (Lokum @ 04/01/2010, 07:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
. The $$$ saved by doling out money directly to compensate private patients for paying private specialists for their private healthcare, will theorectically be kept in the public system for the benefit of all Australians,

laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif
I agree with the sentiment but we do all realise that it doesn't work that way.

QUOTE (Lokum @ 04/01/2010, 07:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This year, for my fancy East Melbourne obstetrician, I guess I can't expect the tax payer to pick up the disproportionately high bill any more. My choice -  I can pay for it myself (fair enough, I will), or I could go the Royal Women's as a public patient.

And as a 'Public' patient, your obstetrician, midwives, in fact all  hospital services are picked up 100% by tax payers. Therefore, I don't think it's unrealistic for the a portion of private care to come from tax dollars as well. To me, the system worked form the view of the patient, I agree that all Specialists fees (incl Obs) have skyrocketed out of control. But this is not a solution that benefits patients or our Health care system in general. People will opt out of PHI when they can't justify it for birth anymore and this will have a lead on effect for other conditions/areas.

#55 seepi

Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:18 PM

I mainly have private health cover for maternity stuff. If I have to pay for private health cover, but then still have to pay thousands and thousands on top just to give birth with my own Ob, I will be dropping the health cover pretty quickly. What is the point of private health cover if you still can't get into a private hospital??

#56 rokate

Posted 05 January 2010 - 07:53 AM

QUOTE
And as a 'Public' patient, your obstetrician, midwives, in fact all hospital services are picked up 100% by tax payers. Therefore, I don't think it's unrealistic for the a portion of private care to come from tax dollars as well. To me, the system worked form the view of the patient, I agree that all Specialists fees (incl Obs) have skyrocketed out of control. But this is not a solution that benefits patients or our Health care system in general. People will opt out of PHI when they can't justify it for birth anymore and this will have a lead on effect for other conditions/areas.


A very good point. I would think on average the cost to the Government/Taxpayers would be the same for private and public patients, under the old system. Private Patients hospital stay inc. Specialist visits, NICU etc. is completely payed for by them or their health fund. Staying in public hospital as private patient means that the health fund/patient is covering all the costs for their stay, instead of the government. If I was the government I would want to encourage private patients to continue being private patients. Not doing the opposite in regards to Obstetrics.
QUOTE
. The $$$ saved by doling out money directly to compensate private patients for paying private specialists for their private healthcare, will theorectically be kept in the public system for the benefit of all Australians,

As much as the Government says this I doubt it will happen.



#57 stagedom

Posted 05 January 2010 - 08:49 AM

UPDATE ON NEW FEE STRUCTURE

We called around and luckily found another OB. Pricing was not the ultimate consideration but there was a huge difference. Basically our OB is a greedy porsche driving fat cat. For the new OB we were quoted around $3,750 for out of pocket expenses compared to $6,000 from Mr Fat Cat OB. The new OB includes more services (i.e. they have an ultrasound in their own room, they see us every month (instead of getting a midwife to see us every second time) they are more compassionate and approachable. We also have a choice of four private hospitals (not the one like Mr Fat Cat OB).

In regards to some posts above. I agree it is a choice as to whether you go private or go public, but without people in the private system the public system would be overloaded and crumble. Believe it or not but taxpayer funds are not enough to sustain a nation wide health system. I agree OB's should not be overcharging, but the govt needs to take it up with them and advance a schedule of fees (much like that of the legal profession) not expect patients to pick up the tab by cutting rebates allowed. If OB's want to charge more than offer a different level of service where the extra costs are justified.

What's happened in our case is the fact that the OB wanted to ensure his profit margin was not affected so he upped his fees in the areas where no PHI or Medicare rebate would be offered. Now by people like ourselves choosing to go elsewhere this may discourage the OB from charging exorbitant fees and may drop his fees in line with others. But should it really come down to this? Does anyone else see what's wrong here? A pregnant couple are forced to shop around and at the same time have elevated stress levels about fee structures. Stress is something you want to avoid in a pregnancy.

Private or public is not the issue here. The issue is that the Rudd govt has messed this up royally by shifting the onus to couples hoping that the system and fees charged will sort itself out. Maybe it will, at the expense (pardon the pun) of pregnant couples.

Edited by stagedom, 05 January 2010 - 08:49 AM.


#58 asiltheangel

Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE (MonstersMama @ 04/01/2010, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And every pregnant woman who wants it receives medical intervention and supervision. Its a choice to go public or private. Nobody in this country will be denied care. But if you choose to go private, you pay. Otherwise, you will get your care through the public system. its not like anyone is being denied medical care because they cant pay, are they?


I guess it all depends if you want the Registrar + midwives careing for you or the Consultant  + Midwives caring for you?

Im happy to be a private pt in a publiuc hospital but my Gyn/Ob only works in the private.

High risks Births should deffinatly go to the public though.....

Thats my 2c original.gif

#59 Freakin'-out Dad

Posted 05 January 2010 - 08:59 PM

QUOTE (stagedom @ 05/01/2010, 09:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
UPDATE ON NEW FEE STRUCTURE

Now by people like ourselves choosing to go elsewhere this may discourage the OB from charging exorbitant fees and may drop his fees in line with others. But should it really come down to this? Does anyone else see what's wrong here? A pregnant couple are forced to shop around and at the same time have elevated stress levels about fee structures. Stress is something you want to avoid in a pregnancy.



Hey Stagedom,

Very glad to hear that you've found a more reasonable and attractive Ob. well done you!!!

I think that you've hit the nail on the head.
This government (and I suspect the opposition would agree) has decided that the best way to deal with rising medical costs is to let the market decide. That may be all well and good prehaps in cases of prolonged medical conditions or elective stuff. In these situations the patient can shop around and get the know the market. Its kind of like a mortage.  However, with a pregnancy, for most people, its a once in a while (or even a once off) affair. As you also rightly pointed out, its a pretty stressful time in a person's life.

The economic theory crumbles when the vendors are the only constants in the game. Beside repeat patients (one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country etc etc) or those who rely on word of mouth, the buyers are virtually ignorant.

Still I suppose that it will lower the cost of Medicare which will look good on Budget Night and I sure that we'll all feel tremendously good about that now wont we!!!!!

Since i last posted on this forum my wife and i took advantage of a weekly tour to both the local public and private hospital facilities. We were glad that we did it. For us, it confirmed why we're choosing to go private.

i reckon that at this point in the discussion thread it is worth splitting out the issue a bit more than it has been. Once you set foot in the hospital, the private health insurance kicks in, everything outside is a matter for Medicare. Thats the demarcation.

i certainly thought strongly about the relevance of continuing with the PHI given the fees but the crushing realisation is that they are from a financial point of view, largely, two separate elements of the birth.

In terms of Ob fees, please let me give you a comparison, with the Canberra experience. i can tell you that all the Obs in Canberra will be pretty much the same. We are such a small market for most things that cartels are almost a way of life here.

I wont complicate it with Medicare rebates as we're all different

Pregnancy Management Fees: $3800
Initial Consultation (1 hour) $250
Other consultations (8-10 prior to birth if all goes well) $100
Tests:
- dopler test:$40 each
- Ultrasound: $52.50 each
No gap on the hospital cover (regardless of the fund that you're with as i understand it
One voluntary post-natal cost $100

The other fees are all hospital related but apparently our Ob likes for the Paediatrician (excuse the spelling if wrong) to drop by to check the bub out. This will cost extra (dependant on your fund)

i hope that this helps. I can say that i am glad not to be at the top of the range (see comments about $4500 at RNS in sydney)

cheers

#60 Bluenomi

Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:17 AM

QUOTE (asiltheangel @ 05/01/2010, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
High risks Births should deffinatly go to the public though.....

Thats my 2c original.gif


You must live in a different state to me, no way I'd be recommending a high risk person go public. A friend of mine who is 30 weeks just changed from public to private due to complications and so far is very glad she did, she's getting much better care

#61 Wishing2011

Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:22 AM

I visited medicare yesterday when I was claiming something else and asked how much I'd get back of the $2500 the OB i want to go through is charging. I was told $200 sad.gif I HATE the government for doing this.

It got me thinking though. I'm paying all this private health insurance so I can pay $200 max to stay at hte hospital etc... so why the heck should I Have to pay thousands for a specialist. I wish I could get a public doctor to treat me at the private hospital.

It also means that since my wage pays the mortgage by going through the private system just for the ob I am basically giving up one month of my mortgage (plus the paed, anesth etc.0 which in turn means a 1 - 2 months I dont get to spend with our baby cus I have to go back to work!! So I'm kind of torn. We want the best health care and I'm paying soo much every month for it yet we get almost NOTHING back so its a tough decision for us sad.gif

QUOTE
The $$$ saved by doling out money directly to compensate private patients for paying private specialists for their private healthcare, will theorectically be kept in the public system for the benefit of all Australians, not just those who have access to private healthcare and their own person obstetricians.
whilst we are definately not rich by any means the governments decision may push people like myself to go to public hospitals as we cannot afford to go private and take time off work sad.gif So then in turn the public hospitals may suddenly be finding themselves a LOT Busier!

Edited by wishingmiracles, 06 January 2010 - 09:29 AM.


#62 zande

Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:46 AM

QUOTE
I HATE the government for doing this.

I don't know if it's actually the government's fault. The greedy OBs* (IMO) shot themselves in the foot by introducing this ridiculous "management fee" at the same time as the safety net system was brought in, as they knew they could all charge it and most (if not all) of their patients would get 80% of it back. I knew one day the government would cotton on. I am just thankful I managed to have my 2 kids before the changes came in, as now I would not be able to afford the OB I had. (I wasn't charged the management fee for DD1 as it was before the safety net system, was charged for DD2 but got the 80% back.)

*OK so maybe that's harsh, and call my cynical, but it was just interesting that at the time the safety net came in, suddenly all the OBs were charging management fees, when they never had before.

#63 Fourteenyears

Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:12 PM

QUOTE
*OK so maybe that's harsh, and call my cynical, but it was just interesting that at the time the safety net came in, suddenly all the OBs were charging management fees, when they never had before.


It's not that interesting, and has nothing to do with greed for the vast majority of OBs.  I was nearly halfway through my first pregnancy when the safety net was introduced.   By far the largest payment back then was the delivery fee, which was partly paid by our PHI, but still left a big gap for us.  This payment did not qualify for the safety net because it does not cover in-hospital costs.

When the pregnancy management fee was introduced (by medicare, who created the number for it), most OBs restructured their payment to shift the bulk of their charges into the PMF, leaving the delivery fee no-gap.  Mine, certainly, didn't raise his fees at all - just the way they were paid.  So the onus was shifted from private health insurance (who really were not meeting the need) to the taxpayer via the introduction of the safety net.  In a way that left their clients significantly less out of pocket than previously, which, let's face it, WAS the purpose of the safety net.   OBs were invited to do it by medicare who created that particular number specifically for that purpose.  I remember speaking to my OB about it at the time and he said that he didn't think it would last - that the govt obviously hadn't thought about how much they'd end up paying out.  

Interestingly, I used him again last year, and his fees were barely higher than they were pre safety net five and a half years ago. They seem to have risen in line with inflation rather than greed.

It's interesting that politicians call OBs greedy for the way their fees have increased over the last five years.  How much have their salaries increased in the same period of time?

Edited by sassm, 06 January 2010 - 12:12 PM.


#64 ~bluebird~

Posted 06 January 2010 - 01:47 PM

Must say I am really confused by all of this - and I thought having a baby was supposed to be natural.


I don't have PHI and thought I'd it was simple to go public to a public hospital. But then when I try to book into my local public hospital and told they only way I can have my baby there is if a have an OB (midwife team already booked when I was 9 wks). was given a list of four, first two weren't available, number 3 was - lucky for me from what everyone else has written the fees are quite reasonable (as long as they didn't misquote me on the phone). Now I find out the the rebate is practically nothing.

It seems very diffecult to find out what other options there are, and if all the public hospitals are full where are we going to have our babies then?

#65 seepi

Posted 06 January 2010 - 01:52 PM

It is very lazy politics i think to just abolish a big rebate (that they introduced), and expect the customers (stressed pregnant couples) and the vendors (ageing OBs with more customers than they know what to do with) to sort it out somehow.

it will be interesting to see how it goes anyway. Maybe if this goes well for them they will suddenly take the rebate away from all sorts of other medical procedures.

On the Previous Poster - i wouldn't have thought they could force you to go private - maybe the hospital is public and private and they put you through to the wrong bit or something?  I'd give them a call again and say you definitley are a public patient and what can you go.

#66 AJ#99

Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:51 PM

Charlie26 - I'm gobsmaked.   ohmy.gif  Don't public hospitals have to take you if you are in their intake area?  Wouldn't that amount to denying care otherwise?   ohmy.gif  Wow  My understanding of the public system has just fallen apart!

#67 fooiesmum

Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:21 PM

Re public hospitals having to take you - yes they do, but in the case of Manly Hospital, now the only public maternity unit on the Northern Beaches of Sydney - (pop approx, 210 000 - Warringah, 134 000, Pittwater 53 000 & Manly 38 000) they where (Dec 2009) opening up another ward in the hospital to accommodate mums (stop gap measure) no where near maternity/labour & delivery suites & with none of the maternity facilitates, just a general ward.  

How is this good?????

#68 louise3now4

Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:40 PM

I could be completely off the track here, but I just remember 7+ years ago, trying to book into see an OB. I was given a list of approx 20 by my GP at 4 weeks 2 days. I found more than half had 'left' delivery. Not necessarily management of the pregnancy but definitely delivery. Too expensive to cover the insurances now, one receptionist told me. Of the remainder some had retired, yep they are getting older and they tend to do that. Not one off the list was available to me. I kid you not. This was pre rebate of course.
Post rebate I found, as did my friends and relatives, that getting in to see an OB became easier. There just seemed to be more around. And younger ones.
Does anyone even know how high their indemnity fees are? $100K per annum, that was what I was told several years ago. Add all the standard business costs and the fact that these so called "fat cat" OB's are on call for you from the minute you book in with them. Wouldn't you want to be earning more if you knew that apart from the occasional weekend here or there when you had a partner OB cover you (for which in turn you then have to cover them), and your annual holiday, you are literally meant to be available to all your patients whenever they need you? Waking your family with the sound of the phone at 3am, having to get up regardless of whether you had a late night (not necessarily a boozy one, just late), whether one of your own children has been ill and keeping you up, whatever.

#69 ~Sorceress~

Posted 07 January 2010 - 06:32 AM

QUOTE
Does anyone even know how high their indemnity fees are? $100K per annum, that was what I was told several years ago.


And you do realise that the taxpayer subsidises those fees, which are tax deductible?  wwhistle.gif

#70 stagedom

Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE (louise3sofar @ 06/01/2010, 11:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone even know how high their indemnity fees are? $100K per annum, that was what I was told several years ago. Add all the standard business costs and the fact that these so called "fat cat" OB's are on call for you from the minute you book in with them. Wouldn't you want to be earning more if you knew that apart from the occasional weekend here or there when you had a partner OB cover you


loise3sofar I think you are a little off track. Not all the OB's are greedy "fat cats". Luckily a lot of good OB's are out there. Unfortunately a fair few greedy ones of them do exist though, as i have had the pleasure of discovering firsthand.

There are two issues at play here. Firstly the govt's reduction of the rebate to curb greedy OB behaviour which is the clearly the wrong way to go about it as is shifts the onus on pregnant couples and market conditions to sort out the problem. Secondly, why is there such a disparity between what one OB charges to another?

I don't doubt that being an OB is a difficult job, carrying huge risk and high indemnity insurance premiums. However, it is clear that some OB professionals are greedy if they decide to charge more for essentially the same service. If you calculate what an OB is likely to earn irrespective of how high their expenses are (costs which are all tax deductible), they are adequately remunerated for the personal exertion, long hours and on call aspect of their jobs. Some however decide to take that further and charge more than what is reasonable and appropriate. here is the crux of the problem.

#71 Onyx

Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:22 PM

The way I see it, is that PHI should cover OB costs - then people who want to go private, have their insurance and can use it, and will actually get a decent amount back. Rather than PHI only covering hospital costs.

Unfortunately, this probably will never happen.

The "Average" family who have used private hospitals in the past may not be able to use them again due to the changes, even if they would like too.

I know DH & I were considering going private for when the time came, however now we will be going public due to the out of pocket expenses.

I agree that public hospitals will now become even more over crowded, I also think that there are some good public hospitals out there, it's just a matter of searching for the right one in your area.
I'm lucky that where I live I have access to three public hospitals, two of which I have heard raving reviews about their maternity wards.

#72 louise3now4

Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:40 PM

Okay, firstly I get the tax deductible bit, I run my own business so have that one covered. You still have to pay costs though in order to get and keep the business up and running.

I agree the government has cocked up royally. There should have been a happy medium, perhaps capping the fees and therefore the amount rebated, rather than this slash and burn approach they have taken. OB's wanting to charge more could still do so, people could still choose to go to them or not, but at least there would have been a continuity of rebate so that we don't have this massive flood into the public system. Because I doubt any of us really believe that the money saved is going back into the public system. That is complete bullsh*t.
And perhaps I am wrong, but from what I have been told by a couple I know who went through the public system, they don't have a gap for U/S or bloods, these are bulk billed. Unlike private patients who get back maybe $60 from a $200 U/S bill. They don't pay a thing while in hospital, this is all covered by the government. This includes anesthetists and paeds (I don't need to be told these two charge more for private patients). I am not an accountant but doesn't this mean that they pay way more now per public patient than private? Yes stagedom as you have said, this leaves couples wanting to go private in a very costly crisis. And a sudden one, because even though we were all informed months ago that the changes would take place, no-one, not the OB's nor medicare could clarify any specifics.

As for OB's overcharging. As there is disparity in their fees, there is also disparity in the quality of care provided. I know this is not a direct correlation, not all high fee OB's are the best on the market just like all low fee OB's are not just so so. But there is always going to be a best or most popular in field, surgeons, dentists, ball players, whatever. They can charge more for their services. Everyone has the choice to shop around, talk to others, decide who they want and how much they want to pay. You don't have to pick the costly one. Going forward the crappy ones who overcharge will lose their patients.  

I am not arguing with you, I have just found that my OB is worth every cent and more. I have been overwhelmed by the quality of care I have received. I have never once been pushed off to a covering OB, mine follows through with everything. Costly, yes. Worth it, yes. Would I pay for it all out of my own pocket, in a heartbeat.

#73 baku_baby

Posted 07 January 2010 - 06:32 PM

QUOTE (mtilly @ 04/01/2010, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
$6500 is VERY expensive for an ob. Even the ob's at North Shore Private/Mater (think expensive) only average around $4500. I think you could definately find a less expensive ob.

The changes really do suck. I am also surprised that no nightly news/today tonight etc have made a big deal of it. It is going to have a huge impact in places like Sydney.


i am going to mater and paying $5500 for pmf (nope, not 20 weeks yet, so get $463 back), plus initial consult @ $210 + anaethetist & assistant surgeon if c section required, plus pediatrician, costs TBA.

plus $250 to mater for booking fee (non claimable). on top of this..NT scan/test $430, plus other scans @ $200 and $400. i'm sure there is more....

my OB is awesome and by no means the most expensive one who delivers at mater. we are making other sacrifices to pay for this level of care (our choice) and the baby bonus will be a great help.

whilst i resent missing out on the PMF medicare rebate, i also paid stamp duty on my first home, and only received a minimal first home owners grant way back when, so i am well accustomed to being shafted!!! oh, and as for paid maternity leave? Yep, you guessed it, that doesn't kick in til January 2011, so I miss out yet again!!!!

#74 FrmGrdnGirl

Posted 07 January 2010 - 09:47 PM

Re: Obs Liability insurance - my Aunt was a country GP who had done extra years to also qualify as an obs/gyn. When practicing was often only Obs available for 150km radius, she had delivered 100's of babies and had also done additional training to perform emergencie c sections etc. She quit obs/gyn and went back to straight GP about 16 years ago because despite by then (pre- baby boom) delivering around max 50 babies per year her insurance premiums had jumped to almost $50,000 per year.

She still faces years of additional premiums (over regular GP) to cover the fact she is still liable for babies delivered 16 years ago.

Two things are sad -

The complete rort being imposed by insurance companies Australia wide on this and so many other issues.

Also the Government's stealthy and continual punishment of middle income and above under this furphy of "middle class welfare". My husband and I got both paid off large HECs debts, worked hard (paid tax PAYG), saved and after more than ten years work decided to have kids. Now we can't qualify for baby bonus, no Gov maternity leave and soon no private health rebate.  What a way to repay those who have been responsible. Other countries reward those who work hard or at least treat them equal to those who expect others to pay for them. We got baby bonus for B1 but that only reimbursed us for all the out of pocket costs, if we had clogged up the public system it could have at least been cash towards education fund or home loan.

#75 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 08 January 2010 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE (MistyGirl @ 07/01/2010, 02:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The way I see it, is that PHI should cover OB costs - then people who want to go private, have their insurance and can use it, and will actually get a decent amount back. Rather than PHI only covering hospital costs.

Unfortunately, this probably will never happen.

I agree with this.  I'm sorry but it doesn't make sense to me for Medicare to have previously provided such generous rebates for private treatment.  I also have an issue with the Private Health Insurance Rebate - that argument by the Howard govt was that this rebate would take pressure off the public system.  It appears that this is untrue and in fact that money could have been of more value if injected in to the public sector.

This document summarises it on pgs 5 and 6:
ANF - Submission to Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Bill 2009... section 4.1 and on page 6:
QUOTE
Health economist, Stephen Duckett (and others) have estimated that if all government
subsidies to the private health sector were redirected to public hospitals, an additional
1.5 million cases could be treated in Australia's public hospitals


So, I would envisage over time that this whole policy will be wound back as it does not make good economic sense.

Edited by ednaboo, 08 January 2010 - 03:13 PM.





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